Men against boys as Hearts 20s succumb to Ross County

Jack Ross. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Jack Ross. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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An ultra-young Hearts side crashed to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of a relatively experienced Ross County team in yesterday’s SPFL Development League match at Riccarton.

Hearts fielded no players with any notable first-team exposure, while County, by contrast, included first-team captain Richie Brittain, Steven Saunders, Tony Dingwall and Ben Frempah.

“I think the difference in experience was always going to tell,” said Hearts Under-20s coach Jack Ross. “We started with three 14-year-olds, two 15-year-olds, and the rest were 16 apart from Ali Roy and Jake Hutchings. It’s probably as young a team as we’ve ever fielded in this league.

“Some of them were five years younger than the young players at this level, never mind the likes of Richie Brittain and Stevie Saunders. Hopefully a game like this will stand them in good stead.”

The hosts went ahead after a fine run and finish from Roy.

Scott Ferris hit back when he lashed in from 12 yards after 18 minutes. Dingwall put the visitors in control with a well-taken double before the break and he completed his hat-trick with a penalty soon after the restart.

Just after the hour, Saunders headed in from a corner and Stevie Ross drilled in the sixth with quarter of an hour left.